I’m about to get serious, real serious. There’s zero humor today. And you are either going to get what I say or not. There will be no middle ground. What I am about to share is one of a handful of the most important things I have learned in my life–more specifically, in my faith. And, incidentally, it is the basis of some lyrics I recently wrote (and sang) for a band called VENIA. Listen to it here and read all the lyrics here if you’d like.

Over the course of life and the 22 years of my Christian faith I have talked to thousands of people. This has been via being a small business owner, being in a band called Strongarm, doing around 100 interviews and connecting with people regarding my book 10 Things I Hate About Christianity, spending 5 years helping start a church, being involved in other ares of leadership at other churches, and just meandering through life in general. My point is, I have had a lot of conversations, especially on faith.

Hearing people’s stories (and subsequently, reflecting on my own) I have learned there is basically only one (of two–here is the second one I wrote about and part 2) reasons that people either stray away or stay away from God.

What is one of those?


Is it really that simple?


It is something that I have long wrestled with. When I was asked to write and perform lyrics for VENIA (like I once did in my old band) I thought, “If there’s one thing I can tell people in this music scene about the future, what would it be?” And it is a truth for all us:

Life will bring pain, so be ready to endure it.

Because here’s the reality: if I look over the past, nearly half of the people that I have known who were Christians, no longer are. Read that again, because it is absolutely true. Why? About half the time, it’s because of some pain in their lives that has overwhelmed them and sapped their faith.

More specifically, their painful situation has caused them to doubt the goodness of God. It’s just that simple. It has crushed them and destroyed their faith.

Remember the lyrics I mentioned. Part of the chorus is:

When the world crushes you with pain, will you stand with me?

Sure, these are words from me, but they mirror what I believe God is saying to all of us. I believe he is always wondering if we will remain loyal to him through the trials of life. Will we endure? That’s the key.

We have to learn to develop an enduring faith. Not an easy task, but absolutely necessary if we want to finish this race (and life) well.

Don’t let pain get in the way of your connection with God. This is a vital place to start in your own dialogue with God. When bad things happen, especially when they happen to good people, it crushes us. Be it the death of a loved one, miscarriage, cancer, a lost job, a cheating spouse, an abusive parent, an absentee parent, bills that can’t be paid, lack of opportunities, failed dreams, dead hope, or [insert your painful situation here], what will you do?

When the life crushes you with pain, will you continue to stand with God?

Most people don’t. But I want to break the trend, don’t you?

PS-Here is the second of the two reasons people stay or stray away from God.